Menya Mappen delivers authentic Japanese noodles, with self service, efficiency, economy and freshness, without the fuss. After queuing to receiving your meal, you quickly release the reason for the wait.
On offer is the holy trinity of Japanese noodles. You basically choose your style of noodle, udon or soba, collect your dish, add to it with the extras available on offer and then pay for the total at the counter. There is rice options as well, but why opt for those when you can get handmade Japanese noodles!
Tempura fans will delight at the huge array of tempura side orders which vary from sweet to savoury and include fish cakes, prawns, sausages, and sweet potato to captivate your appetite.
After the deep fried section, you can add garnishes and sauces such as shallots, ginger, seaweed, soy sauce and much more. Don't forget to pick up a bowl for the tempura dipping sauce!
Well priced, the self-serve tempura and sides start from 50c to $3.60, while the mains are around $3.90-$7.90 in price.
I order the Beef Udon in medium size (there is also large available), with a side of Tagoyaki (Octopus Dumplings).
Portions are generous and the Beef Udon is sensational. If I recall correctly, the grand total was a sum of $8.80.
The chewy noodles are drowned in a flavoursome kakedashi broth, and paired with tender sliced of beef, onion and tempura flakes. The Takoyaki balls are cooked to perfection.
The place is compact, and constantly busy with a huge turnover of customers, so you are assured of the freshness and quality of the food which is made to order.
It is clear that the people behind Menya Mappen, pour their hearts into the noodles, and you can see why the food appears to be a steady favourite amongst Sydney's ramen aficionados.
Verdict: If you can handle the cheap and cheerful cafeteria style venue and are willing to queue, then the food will reward your tastebuds and your hip pocket. Be aware though, that you might have to share a communal table, that's if you can grab a seat. It does get busy at lunch times.